Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Business

Chick-fil-A all-you-can-eat nuggets event quieter than its viral stir

ST. PETE BEACH — After an all-you-can-eat chicken nugget promotion went viral, the owner of a local Chick-fil-A prepared to be flooded Friday.

Tony Menendez ordered 50,000 chicken nuggets. About 15 plastic tables sat in the restaurant's parking lot for overflow seating. He tripled his usual staff, calling in employees from neighboring Chick-fil-A restaurants. His wife and mother volunteered to help.

"We're all working tonight," he said before the event started. "We're ready to serve as many as we can."

He also hired two deputies for crowd and traffic control.

For all the social media hype — the event garnered hundreds of thousands of Facebook shares, tweets and Instagram posts, many from people who assumed it was a nationwide promotion — the restaurant on Gulf Boulevard stayed relatively calm.

The deal? Unlimited nuggets and waffle fries for $12.99 from 5 to 9 p.m. For kids under 12, it was $8.99.

People started to show up about an hour before the event. Management told patrons to line up right at 4:30 p.m., and doors opened 30 minutes later.

Employees handed out armbands and instructions. One of the most important rules: You had to eat all of your nuggets and waffle fries before coming back for more.

At one point, the line wrapped all the way around the restaurant.

Brendan Garrison, an 18-year-old freshman at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, was first in line. Garrison came hungry.

"I didn't eat today," he said. "I just drank water."

Celeste Farmer, 22, and Todd Lauren, 23, an Australian couple on a road trip around the country, drove seven hours from Atlanta after hearing about the promotion.

Two hours in, Farmer and Lauren had eaten 75 nuggets.

Not everyone who came to the restaurant was there for the nugget feast. Angela Zakharey, 43, of St. Petersburg opted for the restaurant's drive-through and ordered food there.

She looked at the dozens of people standing in line outside of the restaurant.

"I'm not waiting," she said.

Greg Sines, 37, of Mercer, Pa., got more than his money's worth. At 6 feet 2 and 155 pounds, he managed to eat 80 nuggets and three orders of fries in an hour.

"I like to challenge myself to eat large amounts of food," he said. "You only live once."

Contact Ayana Stewart at [email protected] or (727) 445-4153. Follow @AyanaStewart.

 
Comments
Jeff Vinik-backed construction material firm headed to Port Tampa Bay

Jeff Vinik-backed construction material firm headed to Port Tampa Bay

TAMPA — With $3 billion in construction on the boards, Water Street Tampa will need a lot of concrete, so a company whose largest investor is Jeff Vinik is moving to Port Tampa Bay to begin importing fly ash, a component of concrete.Spartan Materials...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Drugs at your doorstep: CVS will deliver prescriptions to your home

Drugs at your doorstep: CVS will deliver prescriptions to your home

CVS Health will make prescription deliveries nationwide to accommodate the heightened expectations of convenience from consumers. The nation’s second-largest drugstore chain says it also will make home deliveries of other items, like allergy medicine...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tech Data sending a record 700 employees to march in Pride Parade

Tech Data sending a record 700 employees to march in Pride Parade

Among the marching bands and twirlers at Saturday’s St. Pete Pride Parade, one major sponsor, Tech Data, is sending by far a record number of employees — more than 700 at last count — to march in Florida’s largest gay pride parade.The parade, which d...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Petersburg residents will see higher water, sanitation bills

St. Petersburg residents will see higher water, sanitation bills

ST. PETERSBURG — Residents can expect their water and sanitation bills to increase between $7 and $11 starting in October.That represents an average of a 7-percent increase. Customers who use an average of 4,000 gallons a month, including reclaimed w...
Published: 06/19/18
Spectrum’s new service will eventually increase the cost for TV

Spectrum’s new service will eventually increase the cost for TV

Spectrum’s new all-digital service is set to bring more high definition, faster internet speeds and expanded on-demand offerings — but it also comes with higher costs for some of its TV customers in Tampa Bay. Each TV that receives service from Spect...
Published: 06/19/18
Medical manufacturer to add 116 jobs in Pasco County expansion

Medical manufacturer to add 116 jobs in Pasco County expansion

NEW PORT RICHEY — TouchPoint Medical, an engineering and manufacturer of high-tech hospital equipment, plans to put its global headquarters into a 125,000-square-foot industrial and corporate office building in Pasco County.Tuesday morning, county co...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pasco Business Digest for June 22

Pasco Business Digest for June 22

Business digestBrieflyHOSPITALS RECEIVE AWARD: Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point and Medical Center of Trinity were recipients of Healthgrades 2018 Patient Safety Excellence Award, a designation that recognizes superior performance of hospitals t...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Hernando Business Digest for June 22

Business digestBrieflyHOSPITAL RECEIVES AWARD: Oak Hill Hospital in Spring Hill was the recipient of Healthgrades 2018 Patient Safety Excellence Award, a designation that recognizes superior performance of hospitals that have prevented the occurrence...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

An Orlando private equity firm has purchased lease-to-own business Rent-A-Center in a deal valued at more than $1 billion.Vintage Capital Management put a bid in for the company on Friday: $15 per share, $1 per share above its previous offer. Rent-A-...
Published: 06/18/18
Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

One of Florida’s biggest draws is also one if its biggest liabilities — its coastline. A new report projects that Florida is at the greatest risk of any state for tidal flooding caused by rising sea levels. And Tampa Bay faces some of the greatest ri...
Published: 06/18/18